Where We Stand

Gun Safety and Sex Offenders

Federal law prohibits persons convicted of a felony, including sex offenders, from either possessing or purchasing guns.

Yet sex offenders can still purchase a gun from unlicensed, private sellers by attending a gun show, or even with the simple click of a mouse on an online site.


Common sense dictates that convicted sex offenders be prohibited from any opportunity to purchase firearms.

• The opportunity for convicted sex offenders to sidestep federal law and purchase firearms through gun shows or online demonstrates how the absence of universal background checks jeopardizes community safety.
• While guns are generally not used in reported cases of rape, sexual assault, or statutory rape, sex offenders rely on all different forms of violence to overpower their victims, including firearms.
• The rate of gun use by sex offenders in unreported situations of sexual violence is unknown, and unfortunately most acts of sexual violence are not reported.


Advocates for sexual assault victims achieved bipartisan support to address violence against women and girls through the recent passage of VAWA.

NAESVnow joins the larger chorus of community leaders, parents, law enforcement, and faith leaders to urge passage of universal background checks.

The public supports gun safety.

A Washington Post-ABC News pollfound that35% of registered voters say they could not support a candidate who voted against expanding background checks at gun shows and on the internet even if they agreed with him or her on other issues.

When we ensure that convicted criminals do not have access to firearms, we will increase safety for everyone in our communities.

HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS?Contact Terri Poore, Policy Consultant at (850) 228-3428 or terri@endsexualviolence.org.